The speedy sport of luge has been in Tucker West’s blood since age 6 when his dad built a track in the backyard for Tucker and his fellow Cub Scouts to race on.
Scouting’s been in Tucker’s blood even longer.
Tucker West is the great-great-grandson of James E. West, the Boy Scouts of America’s first Chief Scout Executive.
That link to one of the BSA’s pioneers gives us a great reason to cheer on the 18-year-old as he becomes the youngest-ever member of the U.S. Olympic luge team and prepares to compete in Sochi, Russia.
Tucker will race four times: 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. tomorrow (Feb. 8) and 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Sunday (Feb. 9) — all times Eastern. You should be able to watch most races live online, provided you authenticate your cable or satellite subscription on the NBC Olympics website.
I find it an appropriate coincidence that two of Tucker’s races will be on the BSA’s 104th birthday; Scouting was founded on Feb. 8, 1910.
Doug Stone, a friend of the West family who sent me this story idea, also shared this picture of Tucker winning the silver medal at Ridgefield, Conn., Pack 124′s sledding event in Tucker’s backyard in 2004:
Tucker’s on the right in the photo above, and he seems to have that medal-winning pose down. Let’s hope we see him strike a similar pose on the podium in Sochi.
Read more about the backyard luge track — and what happened when Connecticut State Amusement inspectors heard about it — in this nice Hartford Courant story. And watch the Today Show on Sunday morning for a story on Tucker and his dad, Brett.
But most importantly, join me in cheering on Tucker as he flies down the track at 80 miles per hour, carrying both U.S Olympic and Scouting history with him.
Big thanks to Douglas Stone for the tip.